A whole host of inspirational Scots have been honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony, including a nine-year-old boy who walked 100 miles in memory of his late gran.
The British Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Awards celebrate people of all ages who have shown immense strength in the face of adversity or have made a significant impact in helping those living with heart and circulatory diseases.
The awards, which were held virtually on Tuesday night, were hosted by Vernon Kay.
Among the winners from Scotland:
- Nine-year-old Fraser Cameron, from Giffnock in East Renfrewshire, who scooped the Young Heart Hero Award after walking 100 miles with his dad, Ewen, in memory of his gran who died from heart disease, raising more than £3000 for the BHF.
- The Paul Lynas Memorial Group, from West Lothian, who won the Fundraising in the Community Award, after raising more than £35,000 in honour of their friend Paul Lynas, who died after a sudden cardiac arrest at the age of just 37.
- Margaret McWilliam, from Aberdeenshire, who was honoured with the Charity Champion Award after raising tens of thousands of pounds for the BHF and helping hundreds of people learn life-saving CPR.
- Liz Douglas, from Aberdeenshire, who was given the Healthcare Hero Award for her work as a nurse over the last 20 years, supporting patients and their families with heart and circulatory diseases.
- Staff and students at the University of St Andrews, who took the Retail Partner Award after helping to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the BHF and providing much needed stock for its shops, reducing waste in the community.
Last summer schoolboy Fraser walked an ancient cattle trail stretching from Skye to Perthshire.
His dad walked the full 200-mile route, while Fraser joined him for the final 100-mile stretch.
The pair raised £3000 for the BHF as well a further £3000 for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.
Speaking about his late gran, Janette Cameron, Fraser said: “My granny was kind and respectful and she just took care of everybody and wanted everybody to be safe.
“She taught me how to bake and I now bake – that’s how I remember her.
“Doing the walk was important to me because my granny died of heart disease.
“I was surprised when I found out about the Heart Hero Award and it’s really nice to have won. But I didn’t do it to get an award. I did it to raise money for research to help people like my granny.”
In Scotland, nearly 50 people die each day from heart and circulatory diseases and around 720,000 people are living with their daily burden.
The BHF is the largest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases in the country, supporting hundreds of scientists at universities across Scotland including at its two Centres of Research Excellence, in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
However, the coronavirus crisis has had a devastating impact on the charity’s income, leading to a potential £50m cut in research funding and a potential delay in important scientific breakthroughs.
James Jopling, head of BHF Scotland, said: “During this extremely difficult time, to have such wonderful supporters means a great deal, as we face the hardest period that the BHF has had in its 60-year history.
“From fundraising, to raising awareness, to supporting people in our communities living with heart and circulatory disease, they really are our heart heroes and their achievements are humbling and inspiring.”